• Parkes was chosen for Fly'n for Fun because of its crossing runways. (Google Earth image)
    Parkes was chosen for Fly'n for Fun because of its crossing runways. (Google Earth image)

Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) and AMDA Foundation, organisers of the Australian International Airshow, have formed a partnership to hold a national general aviation fly-in next April, the two organisations announced today.

Known as Fly'n for Fun, the three-day event is scheduled for Parkes NSW, 1-3 April 2022, and will feature static displays, entertainment and seminars with on-airport camping, as well as promoting visits to the Parkes radio telescope and the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society's Parkes facility.

RAAus CEO Matt Bouttell said the aim of the event was to encourage private aviation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic hasn’t just affected commercial aviation,” Boutell said. “The private aviation sector has seen significant decline in activity over the past two years, affecting our ability to come together.

“Events such as the Australian International Airshow at Avalon have been postponed until 2023, with other activities showcasing aviation in Australia postponed or canceled.

"Regional Australia has also been hit hard during the pandemic so it makes sense to host an event addressing both issues.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with AMDA Foundation and to leverage the foundation’s experience in bringing aviators together. Fly’n for Fun will be organised by RAAus and sponsored by AMDA Foundation.”

AMDA Foundation CEO Ian Honnery said support for Fly’n for Fun reflected AMDA’s commitment to promoting recreational aviation.

“For AMDA Foundation, flying for fun is something which is in our DNA”, he said. “After all, the foundation had its roots in the aero club movement and its air show team is driven by a passion for aviation in all of its variety.”

“Promoting recreational aviation has always been part of our mission and a major component of the AirShows DownUnder program – from the first Schofields Air Show in north western Sydney in 1976, through the Australian Bicentennial Air Show at Richmond in 1988 and the Centenary of Federation AirShows in the OutBack in Queensland during 2001, to providing free space and sponsorship for aviation associations and groups at the Australian International Air Show at Avalon since its inception in 1992.

“AMDA Foundation believes that the passion for flying which recreational aviators display and the contemporary technology that recreational aircraft utilise have the potential to spark interest by young people in aviation or aerospace careers. Flying for fun is not only a great recreational past-time – it is also a serious endeavour that benefits the broader community.

“Partnering with RAAus makes sense to us because we have seen RAAus develop a segment of the private aviation sector into a flourishing industry."

RAAus said that the event was intended to be held biennially and was designed to include all aspects of private aviation.

Parkes was also the site of the one-off AirVenture Australia in 2019, which was organised by a private entity. Previously, RAAus and its predecessor the Australian Ultralight Federation held a regular fly-in called Natfly.

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